Guidance on filming and photography

Data Protection, filming and photography

Photographs or videos that can identify people are personal data and need to be planned, produced, and managed with the University’s GDPR / Data Protection compliance in mind. 

Legal basis for event photography or filming

The University would need to rely on ‘legitimate’ interests for this type of photography, balancing against the rights of individuals by the steps described above. ‘Consent’ is often problematic in the context of the University taking photos or filming at events. You would need to collect 100% affirmative individual consent for the photos and be able to make provision for withdrawing that consent on request. 

Event photography or filming 

If you are taking photos of groups of people at an event, such as a graduation ceremony or open day, then you need to: 

  • inform attendees in advance explaining that photos will be taken and for what purpose   
  • provide a contact for those who do not want to be photographed to inform organisers 
  • have clear signage at the event explaining that photos will be taken and for what purpose   
  • include a reasonable area where the photographer will not be taking photos 
  • have an event organiser available that can advise an individual who does not want to be photographed 
  • have a process for reasonable takedown or removal requests from attendees subsequently  

Named captioned photos or interviews 

The University needs to ensure that anyone who agrees to a captioned photo or interview fully understands how the image or footage will be used, especially if you wish to retain it for subsequent use in marketing of publications. For more formal captioned photos or interviews for publications you may wish to put a form together to agree the terms and use of the footage. 

Data Subject Rights, footage, and images 

Individuals, or ‘data subjects’ in the language of the law, have a number of rights in regard to their data. These rights are not absolute but may allow an individual to: 

  • request a copy of all images and footage held containing their image
  • request that a photo or footage of them be taken down from the University’s website or a third-party platform such as YouTube or Facebook 
  • request that all images and footage of them be deleted 

If you receive a request like this in relation to your filming or photography, please contact the Data Protection Officer at dataprotectionofficer@essex.ac.uk  

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Information Assurance Manager
Telephone: 01206 874853